India must have friendly relation with all: PM

New Delhi, Sat, 19 Jan 2013 NI Wire

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said that India India must have friendly relations with all countries.

PM Singh said it at the ongoing Congress 'Chintan Shivir' in Jaipur while speaking on the foreign policy of India.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Friday welcomed Pakistan's positive statement over cooling down increased tensions at India-Pakistan Line of Control (LoC) as his counterparts Hina Rabbani Khar had offered to talks a day before.

Khurshid, speaking in Jaipur, said India would give an "appropriate response" to the Pakistan offer of talks. He said the matter would come up for discussion at the three-day Congress Chintan Shivir.

Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, in an interview to TimesNow news channel, said he could not believe that Pakistani soldiers could have crossed the LoC and killed and beheaded Indian soldiers.

"I just can't imagine any soldier doing this. If anyone has done it the strongest punishment should be given to him," Musharraf said.

He termed the beheading of an Indian soldier as a "terrible, wild act" and said anyone found guilty would be court martialled and punished. Musharraf said peace must prevail on the border and the escalation of violence was not in anyone's interest.

The India-Pakistan border has been peaceful since Wednesday after their respective armies decided to adhere to the 2003 ceasefire and exercise restraint.

The border flare-up since Jan 6, when a Pakistani soldier was killed in alleged Indian firing, and the Jan 8 killing of two Indian soldiers, had led to a bitter stand-off between the two countries with India saying on Tuesday that there could not be "business as usual" with Pakistan.

Indian Army chief General Bikram Singh, during a visit to the house of Lance Naik Sudhakar Singh in Madhya Pradesh, said "things are under control" on the LoC.

He also appealed to media not to politicise the killing of Indian soldiers.

--With IANS Inputs--

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